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Interview date: 5.06.14


John Magill is curator and historian for The Historic New Orleans Collection. In this podcast, John traces the history of hurricanes in New Orleans.
John explains that the first known hurricane to strike the Crescent City occurred in 1722; that year, New Orleans began to construct the first levees to protect the city from rising flood waters. Another severe hurricane struck 58 years later, in 1780. This strong storm claimed half of the roofs in the city, flooded many farms, and sank numerous ships. The next major hurricane hit in1812. In this storm, the newly built French Market collapsed, and many people who had sought shelter there perished. As John recounts New Orleans' uneasy history with tropical storms that have had lasting influences on the city and its residents, he takes us to our current time when, in 2005, a new benchmark storm struck with unforgettable results: Hurricane Katrina.


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